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Residents should stay alert for latest IRS scam

| Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't worry: You'll get your economic stimulus check.

And you don't need to answer to the IRS to get it.

The IRS has received about 30,000 reports of e-mail and phone scams involving someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for names and Social Security numbers, agency spokesman Dave Stewart said.

"It's very important to know the IRS never sends out e-mails, never asks for a personal ID numbers," he said.

Pennsylvania residents also have been targeted, said Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, although he didn't know how many have been victimized.

"This is just the latest cloak the scam is wearing," he said.

Under the economic stimulus package signed by President George W. Bush in February, individuals will receive $300 to $600 and couples $600 to $1,200. Parents will also receive $300 for each child younger than 17.

All you need to do to receive your check, Stewart said, is file a tax return.

If someone calls claiming to be from the IRS, hang up and contact your local IRS office, Stewart said. The person who answers the phone should be able to tell you whether the IRS called.

"But anybody calling and asking for (personal information), I'd bet my last doughnut it was a scam," Stewart said.

Additional Information:

Been the victim of identity theft?

• Contact the state Attorney General's Office at 800-441-2555.

• Scam e-mails can be forwarded to the IRS here .

• Received a phone call from the IRS• Make sure it really was them by calling 412-395-5667.

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